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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Economy Watch: October 4, 2009 - October 10, 2009

Today Marks Two Years After Dow, S&P 500 Highs: Where Are We Now?

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the historic highs for the Dow and the S&P 500. Let's take a look at where we were and where we are now. On Oct. 9, 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Index of 30...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 9, 2009; 5:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Art Cashin, Dow Jones, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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Watch the Post's Video Interview With Bailout Overseer Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren runs the Congressional Oversight Panel, whose job is to track where and how the billions of government bailouts are being used. She was featured in Michael Moore's most recent film, "Capitalism: A Love Story." Click here to watch...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 9, 2009; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Elizabeth Warren, Michael Moore, Voices of Power, bailout  
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Citigroup Sells Unit That Employs $100 Million Bonus Man

Citigroup will sell Phibro, its profit-making commodities unit, to oil and gas giant Occidental Petroleum, shedding the bank of a $100 million compensation controversy that was to have come to a head later this month, The Post's Tomoeh Murakami Tse...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 9, 2009; 11:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: $100 million bonus, Andrew Hall, Citigroup, Ken Feinberg, Occidental Petroleum, Phibro, pay czar  
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Stocks Up Slightly After Trade Gap Narrows

Wall Street opened down this morning but then rose, following news that the U.S. trade gap narrowed. This means imports fell because U.S. consumers are buying less, a sign of a soft economy. In the first 15 minutes of trading,...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 9, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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How a Weak Dollar Kills Prosperity

David Malpass -- founder of Encima Global research firm, former chief economist of Bear Stearns and a former Treasury official -- penned an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal raising alarms about the demise of the U.S. dollar. You can...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 8, 2009; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bear Stearns, David Malpass, Encima, dollar, housing crisis  
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September Retail Creeps Up a Teeny-Tiny Amount

Retailers saw year-over-year September sales tick up by 0.1 percent, the first gain in 14 months. As we say here, it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but it's hardly cause for this enthusiastic quote...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 8, 2009; 12:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Gap, J.C. Penney, Limited Brands, Macy's, Target, Wal-Mart, retail sales  
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Number of New Jobless Claims Drops

The number of new jobless claims dropped 33,000 last week to 521,000, a sign that unemployment may be beginning to crest. Forecasters predicted 540,000 new jobless claims would be filed last week, so the new number comes in well below...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 8, 2009; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: jobless claims, unemployment  
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Alcoa Beats Earnings, Revenue Expectations for Third Quarter

Alcoa beat expectations for both earnings and revenue for the third quarter, as the aluminum giant symbolically kicked off earnings season moments ago with some surprise good news. Forecasters had expected Alcoa to report a loss of 9 cents per...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 7, 2009; 4:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Alcoa, dollar, earnings, gold, third quarter  
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Critical Earnings Season Kicks Off Today

Aluminum giant Alcoa will report its third-quarter earnings immediately following the closing bell today at 4 p.m., symbolically kicking off an earnings season that many are calling critical. Here's one way to look at it: The first quarter (January to...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 7, 2009; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  
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Stocks Down at Opening

Wall Street opened slightly down this morning in a pullback, following two straight gangbuster days, as traders await the flood of earnings starting today. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down three-tenths of 1 percent. The...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 7, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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The U.S. Dollar in Peril

There is a story today in London's Independent newspaper that reports on "secret meetings" among Arab states, China, Russia, Japan and France that have the goal of eliminating the U.S. dollar as the currency for trading oil within nine years....

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 6, 2009; 1:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Miller Tabak, Peter Boockvar, Wal-Mart, dollar, inflation  
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Hoyer: Financial Regulation Legislation to Hit House Floor Next Month

New, tougher regulations on the financial sector should be ready for a vote on the House floor by next month, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said during his weekly briefing this afternoon, The Post's Ben Pershing reports. Hoyer said that he...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 6, 2009; 1:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Barney Frank, Steny Hoyer, regulatory reform  
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Truer U.S. Unemployment Rate Rises to Recent High of 17 Percent

As regular readers of this blog know, each month when the official U.S. unemployment number comes out, I like to go behind the number and find the truer measures of joblessness in America, using the Labor Department's own numbers. I...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 5, 2009; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Department, joblessness, unemployment  
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Read My Interview With the Man Who Predicted the Recession, Housing Crash

Way back in 2006, investment manager and hardcore free-marketeer Peter Schiff was calling for a big recession and a housing crash. Now, he's set his sights on Capitol Hill: He's running for Senate, hoping to unseat banking committee Chairman Chris...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 5, 2009; 10:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Ben Stein, Outlook, Peter Schiff, Washington Post, housing bubble, recession  
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Non-Manufacturing Sector Index Shows Growth for First Time in 11 Months

A widely watched index of non-manufacturing sectors in the U.S. -- this includes health care, utilities, construction, retail and wholesale -- rose in September compared with August. According to the Institute for Supply Management, which tracks business activities in these...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 5, 2009; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: ISM, non-manufacturing index  
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Wall Street Opens Higher to Kick Off Fourth Quarter

Stocks opened higher this morning as traders open the fourth quarter by looking forward to third-quarter earnings out soon. In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is up four-tenths of 1 percent. The broader S&P 500 is a...

By Frank Ahrens  |  October 5, 2009; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Dow Jones, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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